The newsroom at the Crookston Daily times weighs in with their five things they'd like to see happen in the community and world for the week.

Quicker word on changes
The weather in our region can be up and down, but getting the forecast has become easier. We can go online, turn on the TV, crank up the radio or look at our smart phones. So why can't our local sports authorities get a hold of parents quicker if their kids' practice times are going to change? Shouldn't have cell phones, automated message systems and email changed communication for the better? Maybe there needs to be a person hired to do these things. A quick email or electronic alert to let people know if practices are cancelled/changed because of the heat or rain isn't too much to ask. Parents pay a fee to have their kid in sports so why can't communication be a part of the deal? Not everyone can, at the drop of a hat, rush out of their employer's door to bring their child to a "just announced" change in practice time. Hopefully this can be a quick fix for the future.

Relief from the heat for teachers and students
While we’re still a week or so away from getting the 2013-14 school year underway in the Crookston School District, let’s try to have a little empathy for our fellow students in nearby communities that have already started school. So much attention is given to the wonderful time when winter gives way to spring and how teachers struggle to keep their students, especially the younger ones, concentrating on learning when the grass is greening up and it’s warmer outside. We’ll, who’d want to learn anything this week in many of these school buildings that lack air conditioning, with outside temperatures in the 90s and humidity high enough to soak anyone with sweat? So, to the teachers and students who are back in school, hang in there. Cooler days are head, with colder ones to follow.

A normal start to a quirky launch of the school year
Speaking on the start of the school year, we’re about a week away from an unusual start in Crookston’s public schools. The school year will officially start next Tuesday, the Tuesday after Labor Day, but only for those in grades 8 through 12 at Crookston High School. For kindergartners and students up to seventh grade, the latter of which are entering the high school for the first time, two days of interviews featuring the student, parents and the student’s teacher will take place before the K-7 students actually start classes on Thursday. In homes occupied by siblings who are impacted differently by the start of the school year, there could be some fun ribbing when the older kid has to head off to school Tuesday, while the younger kid plans to hook up with his buddies and check out a matinee at the theater. It’s an interesting experiment; let’s see if it’s a one-year deal, or if it has long-term legs.

ake advantage of online educational opportunities
Whether you're a parent or a student, you know that searching for college-- specifically college money-- can be a tedious task to take.  There's no walking around it: college is expensive. But should the expense limit who should "live the American dream" and be able to further their education, only to better themselves in the eyes of society? Luckily, there are literally thousands of online scholarships for prospective or current students to apply for to lighten the "college load."  Some scholarships are unique, applying specifically to individuals with certain characteristics, while others are general and based on the lottery system for that chance to win the big prize. Some require scholarships while others simply have you enter. If you're willing to take the time to fill out numerous forms, take online surveys and search for financial aid, you're more likely to find that the burden of college expenses is significantly lighter. Take advantage of all of the online opportunities you can-- they're out there, simply waiting for you.
– Torrie Greer, Times intern

re you ready for some football?
Pirate Football opens the season Friday on the road against Section 8AA Warroad. Most of the positions are pretty much decided at this point but a few are left to be battled out, including runningback. Blake Bergeron, Brandt Delage, Robert Kappelhoff and Luke Edlund are all vying for carries. Whoever wins the job will be sharing the load with the others but the Pirates to keep opposing defenses from keying on the passing game. UMC Golden Eagle Football opens its season in two Fridays from now and a number of positions are still up for grabs, including quarterback. Junior Jordan Manahan, a community college transfer, is the favorite to win the job with his experience. However, freshmen Nathan Cole and Kyle Larson are in the mix and making the decision for interim head coach Mike Fritze difficult. Whoever wins the job needs to limit turnovers and convert on third downs consistently. Check out the extensive season previews for both teams in this week's Times.